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Operations and Washington DC

In DC, Mayor Bowser issued the official Order, which allows DC to enter Stage Two on Monday, June 22nd at 12:01am. Stage Two allows for indoor dining at 50% capacity. The Department of Health released important guidance documents and the following measures should be implemented to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission amongst employees, patrons, and the community. Please read the guidance document in full as it shares important information for employees, customers and operations. The Mayor’s Order outlines the below requirements, but also includes further recommendations. ...
Following the Mayor’s announcement earlier today on Phase Two, please find The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) rulemaking regarding Phase Two of Reopening which permits indoor dining at 50% capacity.  If you have not already reviewed the Mayor’s Order for Phase Two and additional guidance provided by DOH, I recommend you do so. Click here for the Mayor’s Order. Click here for the DC DOH Guidance document.  ABRA’s Emergency Rulemaking  Below is a brief summary of what was included in ABRA’s rulemaking which provides additional...
We have heard from a number of you that restaurants and small businesses have been contacted by ROC-DC to participate in the Strike for Black Lives taking place tomorrow in observance of Juneteenth.  To be clear, this is not an effort organized by ROC, but rather by various organizations locally and nationally calling for businesses to show solidarity and shut down businesses from 9am-7pm while still paying employees.   As always it is up to each of you, as business owners, to decide how you choose to participate or not in this form of activism, understanding that observance...
In DC, Mayor Bowser announced it is likely the city will enter Phase 2 on Monday, June 22nd, and she will make the determination this Friday, and release the official Order.  Phase 2 will allow for indoor dining at 50% capacity.  The Department of Health has created important guidance documents and the following measures should be implemented to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission amongst employees, patrons, and the community. Outlined below, are parts of the guidance, however the document is four pages, so we encourage you to read it in full as it touches on staff,...
I hope you were able to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend. We have a few local and national updates to start off this week, and want to start with new guidance on the Payroll Protection Flexibility Act (the bill that “fixed” PPP issues). The SBA released guidance that is consistent with what we have already shared with you previously, which is that there is no 60% “cliff” that could invalidate loan forgiveness, and if borrowers received the loan before June 5th they can work with their lender to choose an 8-week forgiveness...
As we head into what is likely to be another busy weekend in the region with Virginia entering Stage Two and DC, Montgomery County and Prince Georges County solidly in Stage One, we want to share important updates with you that could impact your operations. In DC, large scale demonstrations are expected heading into the weekend as people continue to practice their first amendment rights in support of ending systemic racism and inequality in our country. Some events will be static, while others will include marches, and while the exact routes are still to be determined, it is expected that...
As the region moves further into reopening this week in Northern Virginia, and with Suburban Maryland Counties close behind, we are sharing with you some quick regional updates and resources.   Nearly a month ago in DC, the City Council passed legislation that caps the fee third party delivery companies can charge at 15%. This legislation was signed into law on May 13th, and on that date third party delivery companies should have been in compliance. We have heard from a number of you that some companies have not been adhering to the cap requirement. DCRA is charged with...
In Virginia, Governor Northam announced today that Northern Virginia will enter Phase Two on Friday. The two notable changes in Phase 2 are: INDOOR DINING IS ALLOWED at 50% capacity while still maintaining a minimum of six feet of physical distancing between all individuals, and no bar seating or congregating.  All dining parties, whether seated together or across multiple tables, must be limited to 50 patrons or less.  Social Gatherings: Limit the occupancy of spaces to ensure that six feet of physical distance can be maintained between all organizers, staff, volunteers,...
Over the weekend in DC, and regionwide, so many made their voices heard and came out to fill the streets with peaceful and powerful messages and demonstrations to demand change to end systemic racism and inequity in our country, our cities, and our neighborhoods. True to form, so many of you who are always so involved in your community, showed up and were standing and marching in solidarity with fellow protestors, or found your own ways to support, feed, hydrate, and provide needed shelter at times to demonstrators. We are listening and learning, and we are committed to looking inward and to...
As you may have likely seen, Mayor Bowser took bold steps today and commissioned a mural on 16th Street that says “Black Lives Matter” and named the promenade in front of the White House at 16th and H St, “Black Lives Matter Plaza”. Mayor Bowser acknowledged our responsibility as the nation’s capital to send a very clear message to our country that is rooted in the humanity of local DC and needed humanity as black lives matter. We stand behind meaningful steps that are taken to end systemic racism and social injustice in this country and in our city.  This...
We are all watching and many are participating as protests continue in DC, across our country, and in cities worldwide over the tragic death of George Floyd and systemic racism and inequity in this country. As some protests continue to result in destruction of property, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that tonight (6/3) curfew will begin at 11pm and remain in place through 6am tomorrow morning (6/4). The Mayor noted that the curfew will be revisited daily as needed with consideration for public safety, so be mindful this may impact weekend operations. The city urges everyone to close down...
March 25, 2020 - The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has had an immediate impact on businesses and more repercussions are to come, particularly for restaurants, hotels, food distributors, retailers, and other vendors that service the hospitality industry. Below are some potential solutions that can assist hospitality owners with cashflow in the coming months. Defer Tax Payments Both the federal and state governments have issued guidance regarding extended due dates for paying certain taxes, which could help business owners temporarily preserve some of their cashflow. Below is summary of the...
March 19, 2020 - As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to spread, restaurants are being restricted to carryout and delivery service, while many others are closing their businesses entirely during this period. As a result, much of restaurants’ food inventory may spoil and end up getting trashed. Restaurant owners should strongly consider donating their food inventory to a charitable organization, as this will not only help many people in a time of need, but will result in a special and advantageous treatment by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). According to Internal Revenue...
Hearts are heavy this morning. We know so many of you as an industry and as individuals are speaking up and taking action against injustice in your own ways and are working hard to be leaders for what is right.  We are here standing in solidarity with all of you who stand for much needed systemic change. All of us who live and work in this region celebrate the fact that DC is a place where people gather, sometimes by the hundreds of thousands and even millions of people to stand up for what they believe in, march, peacefully demonstrate, and work hard to have their voices heard time and...
Sunday night in the District protests continued and several business areas were vandalized.  The City urges that businesses and individuals should be prepared to take precautionary measures today and tomorrow, and potentially as the week stretches on.  The protests have taken on many forms, and although over 90% has been peaceful protesting, there are additional layers creating unrest in the evening hours.  We encourage you to stay safe and take the necessary precautions to protect your businesses and employees.  Today, June 1st, Mayor Bowser announced that DC will be...
Today, Friday, May 29th, marks the first stage of reopening across the region.  We want to make sure you are armed with all the information you need so we can safely enter this next phase together.  As promised, below is more information about how you can register for the use of public and private space for outdoor dining.  In DC, you can register for public and private space outdoor patios by clicking here. In Virginia, you can register for a temporary permit for the use of private space, or learn more about use of public and private outdoor spaces in these jurisdictions...
As you consider reopening and are making plans to get your restaurant ready, it is important to ensure you know the proper protocol if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. Our local Mayor and Governors have all warned that as the region begins to reopen, cases will rise, so you need to know the immediate steps to take.  Steps to Take if an Employee Tests Positive:  Step One: Call your local Department of Health and report the case. They can also provide specific guidance for your restaurant on how to handle operations and disinfecting. DC DOH, VDH, MDH. Step Two:...
As Friday’s planned reopening in Northern Virginia and the District is upon us, we are sharing quick updates, reminders, and resources as you make your plans.  DC - Stage 1 Reopening - Friday May 29 Today, Mayor Bowser released the official order permitting reopening of the District under Stage 1 guidelines on Friday, May 29th. Click here for the Order.  Click here for the NEW Stage 1 Restaurant Guidance. As we expected, the Stage 1 Order includes that taverns, nightclubs and mixed-use facilities that serve food, and that are already approved to provide such outdoor service...
Dear Operator,  Heading into this week I know you all have your heads in reopening as most of the Metro Area moves into phase/stage one at the end of the week or early next week.  That transition is equal parts a welcome relief and a new and difficult challenge for those who are choosing to utilize available outdoor space.  On Friday, we tackled many of your issues on DC’s reopening and shared resources and tools (see here) as you plan for these upcoming transitions.  Today, Mayor Bowser gave a situational update and indicated that reopening in Stage 1 is still...
Dear Operator,  We all know that there was no handbook for Coronavirus, no roadmap for dealing with the wreckage it has caused, and we have all been reinventing the wheel every week for 10 weeks now to innovate, create, manage, and provide support for one another.  Reopening is and will be just as challenging as closing or modifying was in March.  I know many of you are concerned about areas of the restaurant portion of DC’s reopening plan, as was expected. It’s important to stress here that the guidance that was shared by Mayor Bowser on Thursday is merely that,...
Dear Operator,  On Thursday 5/21 in DC, Mayor Bowser shared the official reopening recommendations from the ReOpen DC Committee that outlines what the stages/phases of reopening will look like, and stated that barring any spikes DC could begin a phased reopening on Friday, May 29th. We continue to meet outlined markers and are 11-days into a 14-day decline that is required before entering Stage One.  Stage One will look similar to how you are currently operating with outdoor on-premise dining permitted with physical distancing and safeguards. Safeguards are defined as: physical...
Good Afternoon Operator,  We have received some additional PPP guidance from the SBA which released its first public version of the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application. Click here for the application and instructions. REMINDER: Today is the deadline for you to return PPP funds, if you decided PPP is not right for you. The application provides us with much clearer guidance on what supporting documents to gather as well as draft calculation forms to show the forgiveness calculations.   The PPP Loan Forgiveness Application was not expected to codify major changes to the PPP...
Dear DC Operator,  As we head into the weekend, I wanted to remind you of specific relief that was passed and signed into law by Mayor Bowser earlier this week.  This is relief that your restaurant or operation can take advantage of RIGHT NOW.  Below is a breakdown of what is in effect with applicable amendments made by ABRA.   Cap on Third-Party Delivery Fees: Commissions payable to third-party delivery companies are limited to 15% during Mayor’s Public Health Emergency, which is currently set to expire on June 8th. We are working to extend this beyond the...
Dear Operator,  Today, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order Sixty-Two, ordering specific localities in Northern Virginia to delay entering Phase One of reopening until May 28th. Executive Order Sixty-Two requires the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park; and the towns of Dumfries, Herndon, Leesburg, and Vienna (Northern Virginia Region) to remain in Phase Zero, as requested by officials in those localities, which mean businesses must continue with current status of...
FDA is providing a food safety re-opening checklist for previously closed retail food establishments or those that have been open with limited service related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This checklist addresses key food safety practices for retail food establishments to consider when re-opening and restarting operations. This is not a comprehensive list. We encourage retail food establishments to partner with local regulatory/health authorities to discuss the specific requirements for their retail food establishment prior to re-opening. Facility Operations Are signs posted on how to stop...

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